Panorama of San Bernardino

Friday, September 23, 2016

Confessions of a Goth Girl Turned Lawyer On All Hallow's Eve

I love Halloween. Let me repeat that. I love Halloween. I love the pumpkins on doorsteps, the skeletons hanging from doorways, the witches with cauldrons, the costumes, the candy, and the scent of fall in the air which smells like cinnamon and leaves crushed together.

As a former goth/punk girl (at least my exterior does not show it, inside I remain the same), my adoration for Halloween might be called cliché, or at the very least expected. Mind you, I do not care if I am judged. This is my holiday and I relish it every year, awaiting the sight of the big orange banners tied across the rented storefronts proclaiming that Halloween has arrived. I have even been known to clap and yell aloud to my husband, "Yes, it's here! Halloween is here!"

Every Halloween, I decide on a costume theme and execute it to perfection. Last year, along with my husband and our best friends, we were The Munsters and The Adams Family. I wore a long black dress with spider web sleeves and a long, black mistress of the dark wig. The year before, we dressed as characters from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I proudly twirled in my gold top hat and sequined top with short shorts as Columbia (although I did not tap dance). My best friend was the mad maid Magenta. The year before that, my husband and I were Danny and Rizzo from Grease (I am no Sandra Dee). Before that, we dressed as Alice in Wonderland characters. Before that, super heroes. Every year, it's something new.

I don't know if it is the process of reinvention that I adore, or whether it is the spookiness of the dark nights of this pagan All Hallow's Eve that I react to, but what I do know is that there is something magical about it all. As if everything could change in an instant and transport me into another portal.

As a lawyer, I put on a costume every day in order to have the authority that my USC law degree entitles me to along with my suit of a costume (I feel sorry for those lawyers for whom it is not a costume, because I would much rather be wearing jeans and a punk rock tee most days). I appear before a robed judge on a bench and make requests, arguments, even demands. But, there is a deference I must have. I must play by the rules. Decorum is everything. And, I believe in the formality of it all. It is like church. After all, these are people's lives I am dealing with.

Yet, sometimes, I want to scream and shout in the courtroom at the absurdity of it all or laugh out loud like the Mad Hatter. And, other times, I want to cry over the sadness and misery of it all. But, I do neither.

Instead, on Halloween I reinvent myself. And for one day a year, I get to play someone other than myself.

Friday, September 9, 2016


They tell me I have anemia and they prescribe iron which causes constipation which causes in turn, a urinary track infection. They give me pills that turn my pee orange to dull the pain and make the bladder numb. I think to myself, if only they had that for my broken, beating heart.

A couple weeks ago, I twisted my foot and hit my heel hard on my stairs resulting in fat pad syndrome where the heel of your foot is painful and tender whenever you walk. Taping my feet with athletic tape, I shake my head at myself and go buy Dr. Scholl's sandals and wear them instead of my monkey boots. Welcome to middle age. It should be called muddle age because you're forced to muddle through.

Many of my friends are sending their kids off to high school and/or college. I am still dreaming of a baby. Or at least a toddler in my arms. Lately, I've been dreaming that I am pregnant and walking around in dreamland elated singing lullabies.  Every night at 3 a.m., I wake up from the dream sweating as my pre-menopausal hot flash self and am sadly disappointed. Yet, I am also disappointed in myself for feeling disappointed. Buckle up, I think to myself, you should be used to this dull ache by now.

Still, I feel as if I am living two lives, one in my dreams, and one when I wake up.

Wake up, get up, is all I can tell myself. Accept this life, with all of its limitations. But, sadly, or not so sadly, I have never been one to settle for anything less than what I really want. The reality I crave may not exist, or maybe it exists only in dreamland, but I can still hope and pray that change is on the horizon.